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A guide to how we run Design Sprints at NearForm

Design Sprint Templates create a shared understanding of the activities that occur in a Design Sprint and ensure the team gathers the necessary information in each phase of the Design Sprint.

At NearForm, the Design Sprint is our chosen method to design solutions. Design Sprints help us understand, ideate, prototype and validate a solution in the space of 5 days, with days full of activities that help streamline the process.

The NearForm Design Sprint Handbook is a guide to how we run Design Sprints at NearForm and we'd like to share a collection of Design Sprint Templates as a supplement to the NearForm Design Sprint Handbook. Our Design Sprint Templates are used throughout a Design Sprint and create a shared understanding of the activities that occur in a Design Sprint, ensuring the team gathers the necessary information in each phase of the Sprint.

Download the templates in PDF

The templates are used for the following Design Sprint activities: Product Goal Setting Setting product goals early in the Design Sprint helps the team align with an understanding of the project initiative. Goals focus on user needs and business objectives. These goals guide and motivate the team throughout the sprint. The Product Goal Setting Template helps sprint teams to compose clear and concise goals that focus on the product user, their capability, and measurable market differentiator.

Persona Mapping Personas provide a set of considerations about users that guide product teams in decision making throughout a sprint. They should specify both the target audience and include specific information on users goals, motivations, and context in a narrative that promotes empathy among the design team. The Primary Persona Template and the Secondary Persona Template helps our sprint teams compose timely concise personas to help ensure we design the right features for the right users.

User Journey Mapping As-is User Journey Mapping gives the sprint team a shared vision of the process that a person goes through to accomplish a goal. They spur collaborative conversation on how to improve the experience by understanding and addressing customer needs and pain points. They can also reveal gaps that may require user research. While user journey maps take a wide variety of forms, we have our User Journey Map Template helpful.

Individual Brainstorming With the goals set and the challenge established, each team member is ready to sketch big ideas individually. You do not need to be an artist to do this; ideas are more important than drawing skills. We have found the Individual Brainstorming Template helpful to individual brainstorming. It helps to focus on sketched solutions on the persona/pain point pair.

Individual Storyboarding Storyboarding is a way to expand on an idea by telling a story in 6 frames without too much detail. The aim is to draw what customers see as they move through the product solution from beginning to middle to end. The Individual Storyboarding Template helps every member of a sprint team communicate storyboards with enough detail to convey an idea.

Master Storyboard The best ideas are woven together into one master storyboard that represents the entire teams thinking. The storyboard is used to plan the prototype. It's best to use a whiteboard for this collaborative activity. See the NearForm Design Sprint Handbook for guidance. Defining Prototyping Roles With the Master storyboard complete, it is time for the entire team to focus on building the prototype. The Prototyping Roles Template helps our sprint teams choose suitable roles to build the prototype.

Conducting User Interviews Interviewing customers by watching them react to the prototype informs the team about how the product fulfils customer needs. We use a usability test script developed by Steve Krug for our user interviews. The script enforces best practice and is a great way to help first-time interviewers conduct interviews. See the NearForm Design Sprint Handbook for guidance around conducting user interviews as well as this link to Steve Krugs usability test script. Documenting User Interview Notes & Findings The Sprint Team watch the user interviews remotely and take notes. At the end of each interview, the notes are placed together. The Interview Notes Template helps our sprint teams organise and review the notes. Following this, the Interview Findings Template helps the team turn the interview notes into a list of patterns to determine how the prototype aligns with the product goals.

We hope you find these templates useful as part of your Design Sprints! We partner with organisations across the globe to help them achieve sustainable innovation through the design & delivery of open software, methodologies and technologies. We work with clients to design & deliver digital CX solutions starting with half-day exploratory workshops and resulting in go-to-market ready solutions in 12 weeks.

Insight, imagination and expertly engineered solutions to accelerate and sustain progress.